5 Twitter Mishaps That Are Bad For Business

If it seems like social media marketing is all the rage, that’s because it is.

In fact, “all the rage” may be an understatement. Using social media to influence your target audience isn’t just popular – it’s an exploding industry. All of a sudden, there are social marketing gurus galore, and anybody who’s anybody is on Twitter – especially businesses.

But lots of businesses “do” Twitter all wrong, and that’s a shame.

Here are some of the most common Twitter mishaps that many a business seems helpless to avoid. If any of these sound like you, don’t worry. Just stop, fix the problem, and carry on tweeting – albeit more intelligently the next time around.

1. Following thousands of people just to get followers

We’ve all seen these people. They’re following you and thousands of other Twitter users in hopes that a hefty percentage of those they follow will follow them back. That’s really not the right way to get more Twitter followers.

To be fair, this isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a good idea to follow people in your industry who are sharing useful insight. And if they follow you back, you’re networking! Networking is good, right?

Right. But it’s painfully obvious when a misguided Twitter user is fishing for follow-backs. If you’re doing this, it’s time to rethink your strategy for acquiring followers.

Instead of following as many people as possible, start contributing regular snippets of brilliance to the conversation. Your following will grow more naturally, and the followers you do have will pay more attention to you.

2. Accumulating meaningless followers

If your followers aren’t in any way connected to your target market, what’s the point?

Having 35,000 followers might make you feel important, but if none of those connections bring results, you’re just wasting your time. It’s better to have 500 followers who will visit your Website, re-tweet your links, or generate new leads for your business than it is to have 50,000 who do nothing for you.

Bottom line: If you’re not getting results from Twitter, your “follow count” is a meaningless metric – even if it’s really high.

3. Offering little value

Guilty of mishaps #1 and #2 above? Then start tweeting gold.

Build it and they will come, the mantra goes. If you give others a reason to listen, you will quickly build a relevant following.

Find out what your audience cares about. Tweet solutions to their problems. Link to quality content that they’ll find useful.

They’ll eventually pay attention. And they may even tell their friends about you.

4. Ignoring your @Mentions

Do this at your peril. If followers are trying to connect with you, it’s your imperative to respond.

Leave them hanging, and they’re sure to remember your silence. Ignoring your @Mentions also suggests you’re just on Twitter for the links, not the networking.

5. Using the default profile template

Ideally, businesses should have a custom Twitter background that incorporates their logo, shows what they do, and tells you how to contact them.

At the very least, you should change the default Twitter background to match the color scheme of your Website.

This has become a prerequisite for professionalism in social marketing. And nobody wants to seem “sub-professional.”

Although Twitter can certainly help your business grow, using it improperly may be more than just a waste of time. At worst, it could make your business look… bad. And looking bad is bad business, indeed.


Adam Green is a professional writer, full-time tech junkie, and amateur enterprise fraud prevention devotee. He also rides a bike and cooks a mean plate of Indian food.

19 thoughts on “5 Twitter Mishaps That Are Bad For Business

  • Hi Adam, I recently changed my Twitter background because I was getting bored with the old one. I think more people get a chance to see it now because Twitter is finally adding some new features – like “activity” for example. Thanks for the tips.

  • Hi Adam, you know I went and decided to use twitter to manage my public relations. I support the Canadian breast Cancer Foundation and my twitter background is there image. I think it’s important to sue Twitter not only for a marketing tool but a way to manage and control what people are saying about you. So in general as much as I do market with twitter I also use it for Public Relations and brand management. I haven’t had a chance to look at the new Activity functionality in fact I just saw it for the first time this morning.

    • When it comes to brand management, the ball is definitely in PR’s court. PR folks are hugely into Twitter now, and with good reason.

  • Nice post, Adam. When you first get started, chasing after high follower counts seems exciting. But really, targeted traffic is what you really want!


    • I couldn’t agree more. You could have thousands of followers, but if you’re not getting new business, there’s little point.

  • One important point I would like to make is to hire knowledgeable and experienced Social Media persons. Some companies hire mere rookies who just keep on posting updates (that too auto-feeded one’s) without having any ‘real’ activity.

  • Nice post,

    Every one create account on twitter for get better response. Often what happens in that some people get success in that and some people does not achieve success in that. So this is good post for them who all are facing these kind of problem and they can remove their problem as well with the help of this post.

  • I agree with you here, I certainly can relate to businesses like this, who just seek to amass thousands of followers and then just forget about them, that is until it comes to spamming them with new products etc..

    • For sure. We’ve all seen “those people!”

  • Hi Adam,

    I have to agree 100%, especially on 1 and 2. It seems like when it comes to twitter and followers, lots of people put a lot of emphases on quantity rather than quality.

    I just don’t get it. What good would it do if you have 10000 followers who dont even care about what you have to say and aren’t really interested in your topic. Wouldn’t it be better to focus you effort towards 100 people who are actually interested in what you have to say?…

    • Yes. Or 50 people. Or 15 people. Or 5 people. I’d rather have 5 followers who actually sent some leads my way than 5000 who didn’t. Talk about really sorry ROI…

  • Hello adam, thanks for these tips.

    I have used Twitter for quite a while with different sites to try and promote them. Reading this post i must admit that i could have done some thing “smarter” 😉

    Like Satrap already said , quality over quantity should be what we want.

  • Following meaningless followers indeed will backfire your core business. It’s just like blogging out of your niche I would say.

  • Thanks for the twitter tips Adam. I think, you can also include the “random changing of twitter username” for this Twitter mishaps. Some people may not notice your new user or twitter name and can cause or influence them to unfollow you because, they may think that they really don’t know or followed you before.

    • Good point. Changing your handle can definitely alienate some followers.

  • Hello Adam. My Twitter account is at a place where it grows by itself. I watch my mentions and retweets and engage with them that way. It creates exposure for your brand etc.

    then, I use Untweeps to unfollow inactive users, and iunfollow to unfollow those that don’t follow me – peridically. This keeps my account healthy and I know people I follow see my Tweets.

    Now, if soemone can just figure out a way how to see which followers are not relative and I could have a SUPER targeted account.

  • Great work Adam. I am new to twitter and your article is quite informative.I belong to your first categories and here after I will change my attitude..

  • So true about the followers. As hard as it is to accept, a smaller number of people who actually interact with you is much better than a big number of robot followers.

  • Wow, this article is an eye opener. In the past, I used to follow thousands of people just to get followers. Most of my followers did not add any value and there were no re-tweets or much of traffic for the links I posted. I should not have ignored the Mentions.

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